Life, 2009

Here’s what I’ve been up to so far this year…

  • Married my dearest friend
  • Changed my last name (call me Erica Olsen or Erica Firment, just don’t call me late to dinner)
  • Spent the first two weeks of married life sharing the flu
  • Drove down the California coast in a convertible
  • Saw elephant seals and sea otters
  • Started turning our spare bedroom into a Library
  • More flu
  • Watched Ong Bak Thai Warrior
  • Flu
  • Sleeping
  • Marital bliss
  • Flu

How about you? How has the year been treating you? I’m back to work tomorrow, and am looking forward to a week of friends, food, and thank you note writing.

Drunken blog post #3

The Thursday night Linden Lab whisky tasting has degraded in the traditional way. I’m surrounded by tipy nerds, discussing the glories of JQuery. One of my co-workers is wearing a shirt that reads “The Age of Consent Tour 1997”. Nerdcore rap blares from the QA office.

Life is good.

West Coast Phrases To Know

My mother, the real librarian (not a digital muckety muck thingamajig like me), will be visiting me here in San Francisco next week. Since she will be hanging around with non-Midwesterners, I thought it would be good to provide her with an introduction to west coast language. I know, right?

  • I know, right?

    Rumored origin: L.A.
    Literal meaning: “Can you believe this thing we are talking about? It goes without saying, and yet we are saying it.”
    Connotation: “We are all in agreement here. Also, I have never read Beowulf.”

  • Hella

    Rumored origin: NoCal.
    Literal meaning: Intensifier. “Their pie is hella good.”
    Connotation: “I am twelve.”

  • Yeah yeah yeah

    Rumored origin: Coffee-fueled Berkeley undergraduates
    Literal meaning: “I agree so strongly that it can be quickly dismissed with a rapid exclamation.”
    Connotation: “We are getting things DONE in this conversation.”

  • Chill

    Rumored origin: The 1960s.
    Literal meaning: “Good. Calm. Without trouble. Easy.”
    Connotation:”I have had lots of therapy and/or drugs.”

Got more? Send ’em in!

Librarians love Liquor

In which I write about my evening as though it appeared in a social column:

Librarians-turned-Software-Goons Sarah Dilling and Erica Olsen spent the evening discussing religion, the raising of rhetorically skilled children, and workplace mentoring this evening over mojitos at local bistro Luna Park. Rumor has it that the field of software development pays more than *twice* that of Librarianship, and offers larger amounts of free food. Where will this double dose of database-discussing debutantes appear next?

Things I love today…

  1. The rice crispy treat I got this morning at the Nervous Dog coffeeshop
  2. The Far Side comic on the wall of the Nervous Dog
  3. Chuck, who rode his motorcycle this morning and gave me a lift
  4. Erin, who told us where to get Hip Work Shirts for Chuck (Nordstrom Rack – Colma)
  5. My mom, who sent me a package of old Beekeeping books and embroidery
  6. The coffee I drank, which prompted me to write this

Rearranging the books, playlists

I can’t sort out my head properly, so I’m sorting my books. Plover the cat and I are drinking red wine and water, respectively, and pacing the apartment listening to Motown.

I’m rearranging my books.

I’ve you’ve read Nick Hornsby’s book High Fidelity or seen the movie, you might remember Rob rearranging his record collection. Today is sort of that, but without the breakup.

When I have something big on my mind, usually related to self-definition, I become more interested in music and stories.

The music I listen to becomes Important. The books on my shelves become Me. I download. I read. I sort. I fuss and swap and graze over my books, looking for the right system. And through this, somehow, I describe myself to myself. Whatever is going on in my head benefits from the organization I’m doing with my hands.

I externalize this stuff because it’s easier than neurosurgery and cheaper than therapy.

Behold my books. They are arranged by priority, then color.

Valentine’s day in the Mission, San Francisco

Tonight I walked home from the 24th and Mission BART stop. It was Valentine’s day, and the neighborhood celebrated by being outside.

Stores stayed open late. Perfumed Latino guys pushed and egged each other on, nervously buying flowers for sweethearts and would-be sweethearts. The bodas civiles joints lubricated their trade with sidewalk tables of cheap teddy bears wrapped in red cellophane.

I walked home in my pink dress. Women holding little girls walked by, clutching roses, boxes of chocolates. Women completed errands, hauled children, and bought food with the same grim determination, red cellophane emerging from their purses.

I saw a beautifully happy couple. Their little daughter ran up the sidewalk in front of them. I caught the man’s eye as I passed and saw satisfaction on his face.

More people were on the street than usual. More police were around. I saw two huge officers, giants. One had his hand on the back of a tiny fast-talking man. There was no sense of potential violence, just a solid hand on the back and a posture that clearly communicated that whatever jig there may have been was now thoroughly up.

There was music and the smell of onions cooking. The jazz club was setting up a show. As I walked home, buses drove back and forth full of people like me, heading home, and out, and home again.

Library Tourism

bernallib.pngI visited my local Bernal Heights library branch this afternoon, in search of a place to sit and read. It turned out to be one of the last weeks the building is open before it closes for an extensive renovation. On a kid-filled sunny spring Saturday, the current building gives the impression of being a community center rather than a library, with more conversations, computers, and chaos than visible books.

I’m looking forward to the new design. The neighborhood obviously is drawn to the location, which swirls with families out walking dogs and babies.

— — — —

Things I’m currently researching…

  • Wedding venues in the Detroit area that are:
    • Non-religious
    • Interesting-looking or unusual
    • Cheap, cheap, cheap!
  • Things to do in Brighton, UK
  • Search Engine Optimization
  • Cat grooming (did you know you can use baby powder to make your cat less itchy?)
  • Better WordPress plugins (I’m playing with a new Twitter sidebar)
  • Management jobs in SF for my sweetie Chuck this summer